Agartala: Tripura has suffered loss of Rs 250 crore in its natural rubber sector during the past two-and-a-half months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has said.
Tripura is the second largest rubber producer in India after Kerala, with over 85,038 hectares of land under plantation, producing 74,139 tonnes of rubber annually. Over 1.50 lakh families are directly and indirectly associated with natural rubber cultivation.
Deb said that Tripura suffered loss as it could not supply natural rubber outside the state as most industries across the country that consume this raw material are closed.
The Chief Minister, in a recorded video speech telecasted on local television channels on Sunday night and Monday, said that Tripura earns a revenue of around Rs 1,500 crore annually from the natural rubber sector.
“In such a situation, the state government has decided to boost the primary sectors as an alternative to increase the state revenue and strengthen the economic conditions of its people,” said Deb, who also holds the Industries and Commerce Department.
The Chief Minister said that the primary sectors like poultry, fisheries, animal husbandry, dairy, agriculture, horticulture and floriculture generate swift income with less investment.
He said that the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, after assuming office two years back, had started working to strengthen the primary sectors from the beginning but, considering the present situation, the targeted deadline set for self- sufficiency in such sectors has to be extended by one or two years.
“The state government will not step back from its goal of transforming Tripura into a model state. We need cooperation from all sections of people in this context. Andhra Pradesh procures fish seeds valued at Rs 150 crore from West Bengal. If Tripura can meet this demand we can increase the income of our fish cultivators substantially,” the Chief Minister said.
He also mentioned that the state government was already in touch with Andhra Pradesh in this regard.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that Tripura produces a large quantity of fruits like jackfruit, pineapple and orange. “Orange is grown in various places of Tripura. The production has to be increased by three times. In horticulture, the Centre and states are working on ‘one district, one fruit or one crop’ formula. We have planned to apply the formula at the block level,” he added. (IANS)